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Hong Kong Cybercrime Continues to Soar

First published: 29th January 2014

Technology crime in Hong Kong increased 70% from 3015 to 5133 cases in 2013, and resolution of those cases dropped to just 10%, compared to about 15% the previous year, and 43% for all crimes. The review echoes last year's review, which saw a 30% rise in technology crime. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung again cited difficulties in investigation and jurisdiction issues.

The Police plan to upgrade its technology crime division to a Bureau led by a chief superintendent and increasing the staff from 100 to 175.

The total monetary losses were about HK$863 million, most (HK$760 million) being to email deception. Deputy commissioner for operations Stephen Lo Wai-chung said, "One of the most common ways companies fall victim to such scams is when staff fail to verify e-mails from supposedly regular business partners and follow scammers' instructions, making payments to scammers' bank accounts".

"Sextortion" cases rose sevenfold from 60 to 477 cases. The mostly male victims were enticed into stripping off on webcam while chatting with mostly female chat partners who were similarly engaged. The victims were then charged anything from $100 to $90,000 to stop the blackmailer posting the recorded images of the victim naked.

Hong Kong is a safe city, except online.

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